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New Music Now 010: Fancey

New Music Now 010: Fancey

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Julius: Greetings. Welcome esteemed listeners to New Music Now. I am Julius C. Lacking, staff writer for Ink 19 Magazine, and today we are going to hear eight new tracks from four adventurous and emerging artists. Our musical guests today are Fancey, the solo project of New Pornographers guitarist Todd Fancey and Micae Pirritano, who will tell us about their favorite new music and play some tracks from their latest album, Star Dreams. We are glad you’re here! Now, stay tuned for your host, Frank Dreyer.

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Frank: Welcome to New Music Now from Ink 19 Magazine, where we talk with real artists about the music they’re loving right now. To follow along with the show, find transcripts and playlists at ink19.com.

I’m Frank Dreyer from Ink 19 and I’m a music maker living in Pittsburgh. Say hello to Todd Fancey and Micae Pirritano who record as Fancey. Welcome to the show. Please tell us about yourselves.

Micae: I’m Micae. I live in Vancouver, Canada. I’m a certified music therapist and vocalist, and I worked with Todd Fancey on his newest album, Star Dreams.

Todd: Todd Fancey. I play guitar in the New Pornographers and have a solo project called Fancey.

Frank: Wonderful, thanks for being here. We’ll hear tracks from four albums today, including new music from your band, Fancey. We’ll start with my album.

[00:01:50] Inside Problems, Andrew Bird

Frank: Inside Problems from Andrew Bird. Uh, you could find it on Loma Vista records. It is his 13th album, and the funny thing is, every year, working for the magazine, I would ask the editor, Ian, you know, “What are you listening to now?” And he’d always say this, that, and Andrew Bird. And then every year it was always something else and Andrew Bird.

Let’s hear my first track Underlands by Andrew Bird.

[00:02:18] Underlands

Frank: So this lead track, Underlands, is a timeless Andrew Bird pop soul song with its signature whistling solo and his dark and stark lyrics, but it’s kind of melding into all of the instruments together. This whole album resonates with this kind of new normal that we’re in, but with Andrew’s emotions, you know, basically coming out through the music, in sync with the, with the musical instruments. What did you guys think?

Todd: Is that ukulele?

Frank: Yeah, I think so.

Todd: Well, you know that part in, um, Wouldn’t it Be Nice by The Beach Boys, the intro, that sounds similar, and it’s, I think it’s a bass ukulele. So it could be that.

What do you think Micae?

Micae: Yeah. one thing I like really paid attention to in terms of the musicality of it is just how the rhythms are just kind of stretched. They switch so smoothly and I think that’s kind of attached to the lyrics, you know?

He really uses words to paint a picture. He uses them like very carefully, and in this song, it makes me feel like I’m floating around in space, looking at all these things and trying to just make sense of why humanity is the way that it is when everything else just gets to kind of exist around us, you know?

Frank: Yeah.

Todd: Very cool. Yeah, it’s all backed up by just the great atmosphere for me, the, the reverb that he uses. It sounds like he’s recording in, you know, in the seventies or something,

Micae: Yeah, totally.

Todd: You know, back aways. Very, very cool.

[00:04:59] Eight

Frank: So the track that I picked is called Eight, and it’s basically about 15 different people, and the number eight, I think is Andrew himself. And at the 2:30 mark, we’re gonna listen to the chorus and then get into, this kind of, instrumental, uh, melding, if you will. Let’s take a listen.

All right. That was Eight by Andrew Bird. I think. I think my face melted off there, that violin solo. Um, just the way that he plucks and, and blends things in. It’s just, it’s that clever Andrew Bird. What? I can’t really say anything more. What do you guys,

Todd: Uh, That’s easy, man.

Frank: What, what, what’s your take on it?

Todd: Anyone can do that. I could do that under, I could do that in under an hour and have that. No, just kidding. Pretty amazing right?

Frank: Yeah, that’s of those 10,000 hours to, uh, to be able to pull that off. And it is simple, like you said before, like you just really

Micae: I feel like his vocals, you know, they still command attention, but the strings really convey the emotion of the song. It’s you know, I feel like there’s a mood of acceptance for the things we can’t control. Kind of surrendering yourself to that.

Todd: Yeah.

Micae: And then there’s like that liberation element once you do accept things. So hearing the strings, you know, they just layer on top and it’s, it’s just really cool how he does it.

Todd: It’s Nah, he’s brilliant.

Frank: So, Todd, tell us about your selection.

[00:07:45] With People, Diane Coffee

Todd: Yeah. Great. My selection. Diane Coffee. He’s got a new album out, With People. You know, I was saying to Micae, if it wasn’t for that, I’m not sure which new album over the last, you know, six months. But Anyways, I, I love his sound and he, he reminds me a lot of DeBarge, El DeBarge, from the mid ’80s. and I have no problem with that at all. That’s my biggest draw into it, is it’s like having a whole bunch of new DeBarge songs. So, uh, just the way he sings is really the, the big thing for me. And so it’s just a great new album. All this stuff is super consistent. Like when I heard this new one, it was like, I hope I like it as much as the other ones. And it’s just so good. Very, very beautiful. Really innocent. That’s what I think of his music. Yeah. Bullied kind of speaks for itself. You guys see what you.

[00:08:32] Bullied

Todd: I don’t know. I’m just blown away by his music. I really am. I just feel like he’s created little musical world there. And, um, That’s awesome. What do you think of that? Micae?

Micae: Yeah, Yeah, Um, I’d say that it’s a song that kind of has this 1950s ballad vibe to it,

Todd: Yeah.

Micae: But then it’s talking about such a heavy topic And I think that the duality of that, it seems intentional. You know, when you’re being bullied presently, life just keeps going around you, kind of like the rhythm of the ballad, you know, the movement of it. Whereas looking back and processing it is a bit of a different story.

Todd: Yeah, I, I love Diane Coffee ‘cause ‘cause they’re, they’re just like so different than everything else. I mean, unless there’s a whole bunch of bands starting to sound like Diane Coffee that I’m not aware of, but.

Frank: Definitely, had that dream state quality, you know, like this timeless world that you were in and, um, yeah.

Todd: I have talked to them before. I’d love to pick their brain a little bit more about the influences. though that’s always interesting. Um, and then the second song, Forever You and I, kind of the same thing. Like it kind of reminds me of like some of my favorite songs off the first Mötley Crüe album. But I, I love it.

[00:11:37] Forever You and I

Micae: Yeah. Um, I was just thinking about the orchestration that it’s got this grandeur to it, which I think is really neat. and I’m thinking about the words and how insightful and heartfelt they are. yeah, they convey a kind of love that everyone should get to experience And I was reading about it, and I think they wrote it about their partner right around the time that they met them. And it’s just this really wholesome song, you know, that talks about going through stuff together, the good and the bad,

Todd: Yeah, And the cool thing about Diane Coffee is they’re really super energetic, like really rocking live you know, they really put on a great show full on.

Frank: You said, Mötley Crüe, and I kept saying, Oh, okay. Home… I could see Home, Sweet Home, or something like that, right. But, uh.

Todd: It’s a totally different record. Mötley Crüe, on their second record, Shout at the Devil, they became, totally became huge and commercially successful, but um, it was almost a little more kind of punk on the first album. And yeah, Nicky Sixx wrote all the songs on the first Mötley Crüe album, at least the lyrics, and they’re kind of, they, do remind me a little bit about this kind of stuff.

Frank: Interesting. I’ll have to go back and listen to that.

Todd: Yeah. Merry-go-round. Just if you just remember that one.

Frank: I thought I knew everything, but I don’t.

Julius: You are listening to New Music Now,a podcast from Ink 19. Find us in all the social medias, or on our website, at ink19.com. We’ve been listening to Forever You and I and Bullied, two tracks from With People from Diane Coffee, and before that we heard Eight and Underlands from this year’s Andrew Bird album, Inside Problems.

Next up is new music from Stars, and we will hear the latest from our guests, Fancey. Remember, you are listening to New Music Now, a podcast from Ink 19.

[00:13:36] Intermission

Frank: Thanks for tuning in. Uh, we’re back with today’s episode of New

Music. Now I’m Your Ink 19 host, Frank Dreyer Micae we’ve heard about your music with Fancey What did you choose for us?

[00:13:51] From Capelton Hill, Stars

Micae: Yeah. I chose the album From Capelton Hill by Stars. This album, it’s both melancholic and uplifting at once. There’s a polarity that I think reflects on the experience of many people at this point in time. Yeah. Yeah. The album, you know, it’s earnest and hopeful, But I think if you’re a longtime listener of stars, you’ll definitely notice and lyrical referencing to their older works throughout the album. Yeah, it was a pleasure to listen to. Yeah.

Todd: Great. How did they get that name? How did they manage to secure that name? That’s just one of the biggest coups

Micae: The band’s name?

Todd: In music history.

Micae: Stars?

Todd: Yeah. The name, I mean, that’s the best

Micae: Yeah.

Yeah.

Todd: Possible. Surprising someone hadn’t, you know… I know there might have been a band Stars with a Z on it many, many years ago.

Micae: Yeah, so this is Capelton Hill by Stars.

[00:14:46] Capelton Hill

Micae: Uh, so I found out that Capelton Hill is a real place in the north of Quebec where the band’s from. And I read about how the choice of Capelton Hill to them represents a place of nostalgia. Uh, they have a family home there, that they kept from generation to generation.

Frank: Yeah. Yeah.

Micae: I know that, uh, I have a place like that and I think a lot of us do. A lot of people compare it, to their 2004 song, Your Ex Lover is Dead, but kind of like an aged wine version of it. An older, wiser duet between the two.

Frank: You know, I, I listened to, this song and, the whole thing has this really great quality of just like depth. The duo, the way they trade off lyrics, um, something I love and it was a refreshing, adventure, if you will.

Micae: Yeah.

Frank: That’s the first thing that I thought of. The sound was just amazing.

Micae: Yeah, the texture is really fine throughout the whole album. It’s super neat.

Todd: Yeah, with that band the first time I heard just on the radio randomly somewhere, it’s like, okay, there’s this British quality here.

Micae: Yeah, totally.

[00:17:07] Patterns

Micae: Okay, so this one is called Patterns by Stars.

I actually saw Stars Live when they came to Vancouver this year, and It felt like we were all taking this collective breath when they played this song, Especially in that part where Amy starts singing the bridge, “we’re gonna paint the road a prettier shade of gold,” uh, “we’re gonna take the time.” And Torquil joins in with her at some point in the bridge, but there’s a bit of space in between. They’ve got the strings where they swell a bit and, uh, yeah.

Todd: Those lyrics come in so cool on the bridge. That’s really awesome.

Micae: Yeah, yeah,

Todd: Yeah. What you were saying about what it was like seeing it live, I can see that because what I was thinking, listening to it was like, and then please go back to your thoughts, but just it’s, it sounds very big, huge. Something is making it sound really big. I don’t know if it’s like the theme or just the sound. Anyway, sorry.

Micae: No, no, that’s okay. It really gently demands attention.

Todd: Right.

Micae: It’s really neat. This was also their first night of their tour, after years of not being able to tour with the pandemic. So.

Todd: Wow.

Micae: Yeah. So yeah. It was a gem of a moment to be there and experience it.

Todd: Yeah.

Frank: So, um, when they play live, it’s, pretty much an ensemble, cast on stage. I dunno if I counted five or six people in the band. Is that the way it was live?

Micae: Yeah. Yeah. It was, They really interact with each other And they also have a good relationship that you can see clearly come out in their music, and also just being live, Um, pretty cool to see. Yeah,

Todd: Yeah.

Frank: You definitely get that sense listening to the album.

Micae: Yeah, definitely.

Frank: Um, like they’re, they’ve been doing this a long time obviously, but you know, they have a lot of fun doing it.

Micae: Yeah, for sure.

Todd: I didn’t know they were from Northern Quebec. It’s interesting.

Micae: Yeah.

Todd: Some reason I assumed Ontario.

[00:20:00] Star Dreams, Fancey

Frank: Let’s hear some new music from Fancey, the band. Uh, Micae, tell us about Star Dreams.

Micae: Yeah, so when Todd asked if I wanted to be a part of this album, Um, I’d been in school for so long and it really ignited the spark for me creatively. I’ve always had a really special appreciation for 1980s pop, so to be a part of an album that uses authentic equipment, like the Korg polysynth and the Oberheim drum machine really immersed me in the experience.

Todd: Yeah. I used to get a kick out of, you know, things that reference space and stuff in music too. There is some, there is some humor, you know, involved in some of this stuff as well and just sort of like inside jokes with yourself maybe.

Frank: Sure. you know, I, instantly caught the vibe. I, had flashbacks to the roller rink and, and some arcade games, kind of early, early arcade games. So it had…

Todd: Nice.

Frank: …that really cool vibe.

Todd: There was a, there was a band called Prism who had a, had a Spaceship Superstar was a big song in Canada.

Micae: I think the album really encourages you to daydream more, to explore more, and to really taste life.

Todd: I like how you’re picking up on the daydream thing ‘cause that is exactly how I like to try to think of it. You know, it’s not like this big concept or something at all. far from it, You know, I’ve always kind of joked, even though this did describe me as a teenager, it’s the opposite of four guys with leather jackets in a garage, you know, playing Iron Maiden covers. I guess they do have some songs about space, so,

Yeah. And I just think, the big thing for me was the timing was as Micaela pointed out was, really good. And, I was just excited about getting her vocals and then we, putting that together. Okay. We’re gonna check out the first quote, unquote, single from Star Dreams. I Am Starfire.

[00:21:54] (I Am) Starfire

Frank: So that song sounded, uh, really fun to record. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Todd: It was, that was the, the one where MEK came in and I think I was gonna have her sing it higher and she sang it Octa Lower, and I was so sold on that sound I just, I love it. Yeah, one thing about that song is kind of funny and kind of weird is basically the lyrics came from poem that I wrote about the San Diego.

Frank: Okay.

Todd: He’s a famous mo mascot, obviously from San Diego, Um, it’s the mascot from, from San Diego. Um, he was really like nationwide famous in the States and all over the world. and there’s sort of also this sort of intrigue that’s grown up around like perhaps he was dealing drugs to the players. I hope not. You know, it’s probably, probably not, but he came out at one point they had to call the grand hatching and they had this giant egg come out on a, a 18 wheeler truck and he came outta the Ag. that’s where, that’s where it came from.

Micae: I can see it somehow. I can see it. Um, yeah, because it’s, yeah, exactly. Um,

I love this track because of how empowering it feels to listen to. And, uh, to sing, especially, you know, I was nervous doing the lower register at first because up until now I’ve been a classic mezzo soprano. I tend to be up in the higher register.

So it was kind of cool to, uh, kind

Todd: Yeah. Which sound great too.

Micae: oh, thank you. Yeah. It was really cool to get in touch with that side of my voice and that identity and how I can still be strong and powerful in that lower register. Yeah. Yeah. And I loved, I think you described this one in an interview or something. You described it as like, Joan of Arc in space, uh, female revenge dream.

Yeah. I thought that totally hits the nail on the head. So

yeah,

Todd: yeah. I think I got a few of those now.

Frank: I’m

just imagining the San Diego chicken coming out of a big spaceship or something like he was definitely…

Todd: Yeah. that would be a great video.

Frank: Okay, so let’s, uh, go ahead and talk about the next song Out on the Streets Again by Fancey.

Todd: I don’t know. I see it as, well, this does come up on Star Dreams once in a while too. It’s sort of living in the past, which is somewhere I’m quite comfortable. And, uh, I like the idea of, a time of you know, payphone and no cell phones.

All that stuff. all the social media garbage. Yeah, that’s a, that’s a big part of it. Again, with, I love the low voice. So cool.

[00:25:35] Out on the Streets Again

Frank: We definitely had that, that kind of dream vibe again. You know, like just this painting, the world that you were, you were in, kind of lost in time.

Todd: Yeah.

Micae: Yeah. You know, Out on the Streets Again, I think the song is about how frustrating loneliness can feel, but also how loneliness used to be a more useful feeling. Yeah. Um, it could, yeah, it could push us to get out and take in the world more but now we don’t know what to do with loneliness as much anymore. and Yeah. Yeah. Todd, you were mentioning a time when you could meet someone out on about, without depending on dating apps, and it’s, yeah. It, it kind of forces you to be vulnerable and, you know, I’m a Millennial/Gen Z cusp and, uh, sometimes I wish that I’d grown up with a little bit less of it.

Yeah.

It takes

Todd: the, the internet has always been there for you,

Micae: right.

Internet. Yeah. Yeah, Totally.

It takes some of the joy and the humanity out of meeting people. I think so. Yeah. Yeah. And another fun fact about this track is that there’s a music video that we’ve just finished up.

Todd: Oh yeah. Gotta mention that.

Micae: Do you wanna talk about that a bit?

Todd: yeah. just a little video we did on a zero zero budget just to represent the song it’s gonna be cool.

Micae: Yeah. Yeah, it was pretty neat. You know, we didn’t have any high expectations. We weren’t sure if we’d be able to pull it off, but we thought, why not try and see how it turns

out. Yeah. If it sucks, we won’t, uh, publish it.

Frank: So, you know, obviously getting out on the streets, uh, was kind of hard the last few years, but people are doing it more. You maybe not taking it for granted as much.

Todd: Maybe. Yeah.

Frank: Um, you know, when I was a kid you would just go outside and you would never come back until the street lights came on.

But, A lot of different enterprises used to, um, fuel themselves by people interacting with each other, and now everybody has to kind of separate. Um, and when they have the chance to come back, they’re not always coming back. Um, but how did you guys record this record? Like, what was that process like for you?

Todd: Well, we had met in a rehearsal space rehearsing with uh, sort another incarnation of Fancy Doing the Love Mirage album. And then, um, obviously I like Micaela’s voice and so yeah, we did a lot of it at a rehearsal space in town. Pretty much just went at, the job at hand and,

Frank: So I, I know you as a guitar player, but you had like, uh, moods and all kinds of different, like how

did

Todd: yeah, yeah. Well, yeah,

No, no. Alan Roger played a lot of it too. Um, here in Vancouver. Now, here’s a guy who’s was recording that stuff at the time, so he’s, he’s just brilliant to work with.

The way, the way he operates that equipment, I mean, he sort of educated me, if you will, that, you know, you don’t just grab an old keyboard in a lot of cases and turn it on and all of a sudden you got the old sound. There’s a lot of work going on, and The Moog is definitely no exception, and The Oberheim, and… Well, I like those instruments that he uses and how Alan uses ‘em because there’s still, uh, there’s a lot of performance in it you know, he puts a lot of energy into it, so,

Frank: That’s great.

Todd: mm-hmm.

Joe Ciders from the New Pornographers did amazing, speaking of El DeBarge and that kind of mid eighties stuff, amazing uh, DX7 Yamaha keyboard. It was kind of fun just to have the DX7, which is the, the eighties roads kind of you know, that took over. Joey’s a brilliant keyboard player is Micae.

[00:30:12] End

Frank: So, thank you for participating in New Music Now, our podcast. Micae, where can we find your music?

Micae: You can find my music on Instagram. There is a link in the bio to all the listening platforms. My Instagram handle is Micae Music, M I C A E and thanks for having us on the show.

Frank: And Todd, um, where can we find more about Fancey and your music?

Todd: Feel like a bit of a dinosaur having a website, but, fanceymusic.com, with an E in the fancey. And it’s got the links to the social media and go listen to it if you want to.

Frank: Yeah, I liked your website. It was very retro. So my name’s Frank Dreyer, and you can find me at ink19.com.

Todd: Great. Thanks guys.

Frank: Thank you.

Julius: Our sincere appreciation to you for listening to this episode, gratitude to Todd Fancey and Micae Pirritano, our guests from Fancey, and let’s not forget Frank Dreyer, from Ink 19. We heard tracks from Andrew Bird’s Inside Problems and Diane Coffee’s With People, and the title track and a song called Patterns off the newest Stars album, Capelton Hill.

We finished our show with Out on the Streets Again and I Am Starfire from our guests, Fancey. Find more podcasts and new music reviews at ink19.com or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Today’s episode was produced by Frank Dreyer, Ian Koss, and Rose Petralia. Our theme music was composed by Avi Bortnick. Check him out online at avibortnick.com.


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